Conquer your fears and you’ll be better for it. At least that’s what I believe. Sometimes stepping outside of your comfort zone can yield some fantastic results. And it’s almost never as scary as you think.
If you’ve built a corporate career — particularly if you’ve earned a seat in the C-suite — you know this well.
But even those with a fearless approach to business and industry-related pursuits (whatever your industry is) shrink when faced with the thought of publishing a book — self-publishing in particular.
You already know that in order to publish a book, you first have to write it. And therein lies the rub for many. No one wants to write a lousy, boring book. Aren’t there enough of those out there? You want to write a great book that satisfies your desire to share what you know.
And, of course, you want readers to enjoy your book. You want them to be either enlightened, entertained, or inspired by your words, your examples, your knowledge, and your experiences. Right?
Once you muster up the gumption to outline and write your great book (This may require some help, and that’s all good.), you still have to get it in book form, meaning you have to get it published.
If you’re among the millions of new authors who begin the publishing journey each year, you’ll probably opt for self- or independent publishing. And that’s a great choice. But how do you do that?
Independent publishing seems so involved and confusing.
What publishing company should you choose?
Do you pay for everything or do they?
How do you get paid?
How many books can you expect to sell?
How long does the publishing process take?
And what’s an ISBN?
You’re only making yourself nuts with all those questions. They’re good and necessary to ask, but they only add to your doubts and fears about self-publishing your book, making you even more certain that this book publishing thing is a scary endeavor. For as many scary questions as you have that might dissuade you from self-publishing, there are as many (probably more) reasons to do the self-publishing thing.
You’re not the first
As you well know, you’re not the first person to publish a book. Bowker, the designated agency in the U.S. that generates ISBNs (International Standard Book Numbers), reports a 375 percent increase in ISBN registrations by independent publishers between 2010 and 2015, reaching 727,125.
If that many independent publishers (including many authors) are registering ISBNs, that’s a lot of books coming down the pike. If they can do it, so can you. Be inspired by these numbers and know that publishing your own book is absolutely possible. And be encouraged that people — including your ideal readers — still love to read. So now’s your time to give them what you’ve got.
Getting published is easier than you think
Technology, popularity, and processes are among the top reasons why publishing your own book is easier today than it’s ever been. With print on demand (POD) and ebook options, authors can get a book published in less time than it takes to complete a certification program in just about any specialty. But you don’t have to know how to do it all; you just need to surround yourself with the right people.
You don’t have to do it all yourself
Who has time for that? You’re busy, with a career or studying for your MBA or preparing for retirement or gearing up for your next big life adventure, and you don’t have the time nor the knowledge to figure out the self-publishing world alone. Here’s great news: you don’t have to.
When you choose your publishing dream team, you hire professionals who know what they’re doing, and you can still direct what the final output will be. Think of self-publishing as independent publishing, meaning you, the author, are independent of the constraints and demands of traditional publishers, and you are running the show. You own the work and the rights to do with it whatever you please. So find the publishing experts that can help make your book the best it can be.
Give independent book publishing a try. You have a book in you and it’s time to share it with the world!
Anita R. Henderson is president of The Write Image, LLC and creator of Write Your Life. Her work with professionals and entrepreneurs has resulted in multiple award-winning books and has helped authors grow their media and online visibility, speaker platforms, industry credibility, and overall confidence in their ability to write a compelling, high-quality book and leverage it in their business or career.